A great shave is a beautiful thing, but it can be a daunting process. Luckily, with the right combination of supplies and technique, you’ll soon be shaving better than you ever have before.
Step #1: Be Prepared
Before you begin wet-shaving, take the time to prepare your face. Your beard grows thick and strong for a reason. Although we will leave those reasons to the physical anthropologists to decide, one thing remains clear: your beard needs special preparation before wet-shaving if you want maximum results. Shaving your face without preparing it first is a surefire way to give yourself an inferior shave and unwanted razor burn. Shaving oil is a great choice for preparing your face, but it’s not the only choice.
Products like Proraso, Prep-Italy pre-post creams, and Taylor of Bond Street Pre-shave Gel are well-respected on the playing field of shaving preparation. If you are looking for a more inexpensive option, try an oil-based face and body cream. In the past, I used Vaseline creams because they worked great. Unfortunately, they are not great for one’s health due to their containing petrol, so I had to find other alternatives. If using petroleum by-products on your skin doesn’t bother you, the Vaseline creams will help you get a nice, close shave and smooth skin all in one fell swoop.
Step #2: Apply the Lather
Applying lather to your face sounds simple, doesn’t it? It should be fairly easy to follow the instructions on the label and spread a nice layer of lather on your freshly prepared face. However, there are always a few tips that make even ordinary actions just a little bit better.
- Don’t add too much water to the shaving product or you will end up with thin, runny lather.
- Don’t use canned shaving cream or shaving gel because it provides an inferior shave compared to shaving soaps or traditional shaving creams.
- Don’t thin out your lather. Thicker is better.
- If you have a choice between using a shaving mug or applying the lather directly to your face, use the mug.
- On the other hand, if you are using a brushless cream, apply the cream directly to your face without using a brush. Unfortunately, it still won’t work as well as shaving soap, but it’s better than nothing.
Step #3: Time to Shave
Now that you have prepared your face appropriately for the main event, it’s time to get down to shaving. I hope you enjoy shaving because you are going to do it thousands of times over the course of a lifetime. If you don’t enjoy it now, you should do whatever you can to make the process more pleasurable. Don’t forget to keep the blade at a 30-degree angle, and never apply pressure when pressing the blade against your face. Let the weight of the razor apply the only pressure you need. An ultralight razor may be applied to the face with gentle pressure, only as much as needed to make firm contact with your skin without scraping or dragging.
Make sure you use a sharp blade. Price is less important than you think. If you are looking for the sharpest blades on the market, they are the yellow and the black Japanese Feathers, Astra Platinum, and Dorco Platinum. Mid-range blades include Personna Super Plus, Merkur, Precision, Astra Stainless Steel and Regular Dorco. However, if you care about your skin, you will want to stay away from 7 A.M, Red Personna, Lord, and Sputnik, as they are far too dull to suit your needs.
Step #4: Finish by Cleaning and Moisturizing
You may be done shaving, but you’re not really done until you have cleaned and moisturized your face. Wash any lingering lather and residue with warm water, then rinse your face in cold water. The cold water will close your pores and get your face ready for moisturizing. Another great way to close the pores is by using a product called an alum block. Unfortunately, if you have scraped, nicked, or otherwise cut your skin, an alum block will burn and sting more than you can imagine. Some people will argue that an alum block shows you if you did a good job shaving, so try it if you are feeling particularly adventurous. Follow up with a moisturizing aftershave splash or balm, and your shaving process is finally complete.